Learning & Development

Change Management Best Practices

Today’s HR professionals and managers operate in an environment of continual change. That makes change management competencies no longer an option but a crucial competency.

Operating Amid Constant Change

Today’s business landscape is constantly evolving. Businesses need to continually adapt to both internal and external impacts, including advances in technology, shifts in market dynamics (both customer preferences and competitive pressures), and legal and regulatory changes.

The broader the organization’s reach—in terms of attracting and retaining both workers and customers—the more important, and challenging, change management becomes. A small, local business, for example, will have fewer challenges than a large, multinational organization.

Both, though, will need to ensure they follow best practices in managing change successfully for minimal impacts on the organization, its customers, and its employees.

Best Practices in Change Management

Following are some critical best practices in change management:

  • Clear communication is number one! Organizations need to be open, honest, and transparent with employees about the changes—internally and externally—that may impact them and how the organization plans to help prepare them for those impacts.
  • Stakeholder involvement. While it’s widely believed that most employees resist change, in truth, they are more likely to accept change if they’re involved in the change process. Stakeholder input and involvement is critical to ensure employees understand why change is necessary, how  they will be impacted, and what the organization plans to do to help them navigate the changes impacting them.
  • Training and development. When change impacts employees, it often results in the need for upskilling or reskilling. Training and development are critical and, for most companies these days, ongoing.
  • Monitoring progress and making changes, as necessary. Any change initiative should involve a strategic plan for implementing the changes, goals, and objectives designed to help measure effectiveness and impact, as well as a plan and process for continually monitoring results.

Change management is no longer an option for HR professionals and the organizations they work for. By following best practices in change management, HR professionals can help their organizations adjust and acclimate to ongoing change, both internally and externally.

Lin Grensing-Pophal is a Contributing Editor at HR Daily Advisor.

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